Leonardo-Finmeccanica: first AW169 full flight simulator certified

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Jointly developed by Leonardo Helicopters and CAE, the Series 3000 device has now obtained ENAC and EASA certification. Leonardo Photo

Leonardo-Finmeccanica has announced the first Level D full flight simulator for the new generation AgustaWestland AW169 light intermediate helicopter obtained ENAC (Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile – Italian Civil Aviation Authority) and European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) certification on June 30. Based at the Leonardo Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy, the new simulator will be used to deliver advance pilot training course for world customers.

Level D standard allows one hour flown on the simulator to be equal to one hour flown on the real helicopter for maximized safety and reduced operating cost.

The full flight simulator, jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE to EASA Level D, is a CAE Series 3000 device, which will be operated by Rotorsim, the joint venture owned equally by CAE and Leonardo. The simulator features unprecedented realism for helicopter-specific mission training, including offshore, law enforcement, executive/private and other operations.

The simulator enables pilots to practice challenging procedures without risk such as low-level flight, confined area operations, autorotation and landing on platforms at sea.

The event marks a major milestone in the AW169 program and the first ever implementation of the EASA operational suitability data (OSD) process for helicopters as per the new authority’s requirements issued in January 2014, mandating that aircraft manufacturers, including those building helicopters, to submit data EASA considers important for safe operations. OSD also covers pilot training, maintenance staff and simulator qualification.

The certification of the first full flight simulator for the AW169 completes the comprehensive range of training solutions offer for the type, which also include flight training device (FTD), full maintenance training simulator, virtual interactive procedural trainer, virtual maintenance trainer, distance learning course and traditional classroom training.

A dedicated training helicopter is also available for live flight training. Since AW169-dedicated customer training started in 2015, more than 85 pilots and 160 engineers have been trained on the new helicopter type.

The Sesto Calende’s Training Academy is now the first ever simulation training center featuring the entire product family of Level D – full flight simulators also including the AW139 and the AW189 models. The relevant full flight simulators are located in the same purpose built building, featuring same CAE S3000 Series technology, thus maximizing commonality approach and easing the transition among the Family helicopters.

This major result is achieved in the occasion of the 10th anniversary of training operations in Sesto Calende where Leonardo has seen an impressive steady growth of pilot and maintenance technicians trained from approximately 600 in 2006 to almost 7000 in 2015. The facility dedicated to ‘Alessandro Marchetti’ started with one single AW109 Power Level D FFS in 2006 and today it features six full flight simulators, three flight training devices and six full maintenance trainers covering the AW109 Power, AW109 LUH, AW109N, AW139, AW189, AW169 and NH90 helicopter models.

Since its grand opening and operational readiness in June 2006, the Sesto Calende’s Training Academy has logged in excess of 130,000 flight simulator hours, more than 60,000 flight hours on company’s and customers’ helicopters, over 40,000 students trained, and became the first Federal Aviation Administration Helicopter Part 142 in Europe.

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